Thursday: A Decision I Must Make With Life-Changing Consequences. Advice?

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posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 05:49 PM
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On Thursday, I have the opportunity to put my school's inept administration directly in the limelight of the local and state department of education. I have come to believe this is a step that needs to happen in order for the school to improve. However, it is quite likely that by doing this, I will jeopardize my own career. I'm torn, ATS.

I don't want to go into details, mainly because I doubt anyone here would be interested. But my school's administration is beyond inept, and the students and teachers are suffering for it.

I've fought the dumber policies quite vocally for some time now. I already feel targeted by the administration, although I'm very careful to stay on this side of insubordination. I do have tenure, for what it's worth.

This past Friday, the entire administration left the school to have lunch and attend a meeting. So when school finished, we teachers got to talking....and discovered the stupidity and power trips were effecting every grade level. And the ones most affected are the students. These policies and inaction are hurting their learning environment and giving them a rocky foundation in learning.

We teachers have tried to mention this to the administration, but they will not listen. Instead, they blame the teachers for all the problems in our school. They are in a position where they could truly help things for the better; instead, they seem more concerned about making sure all the mud slides off their backs and onto others. They are very good at doing this.

Thursday is the school improvement meeting. I've written a letter detailing every problem and lack of response. It names names. Everything in the letter is validated with documentation, including emails and paperwork.

So here's my choice. I can take this to the SIT meeting, have it read into the formal minutes, and quite likely end my career. Or I can send it anonymously to the school board and superintendent, but that may or may not have an impact (since if I do it anonymously I cannot provide corroboration).

My teacher's union rep advises me to try the anonymous route first. The problem? It could take years to address the issues. But I would be safe, so to speak.

And in the meantime, these children receive a substandard education and potentially great teachers lose all passion for their job.

Or I can present it Thursday, which will bring it to a head immediately. I'm sure there would be retaliation, but not sure from where. At the least, it could blacken my name within the school system. However, there are no grounds for dismissal, so in the event I was dismissed from my job I could sue.

But I don't want to do any of this. I just want to teach my children, make learning fun and meaningful.

I'm torn, ATS. Someone needs to put a stop to this nonsense. I'll do it if I have to. But I was hoping the collective mind of ATS might come up with another idea.

Any suggestions?




posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 05:55 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


And in the meantime, these children receive a substandard education and potentially great teachers lose all passion for their job.


Wouldn't losing a caring and considerate teacher like you only make it worse..? Martyrdom does nothing in this situation.


Send it anon...go from there, as it is at least a step in the right direction.


Good luck.





posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:00 PM
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reply to post by facelift
 


Thank you for the advice.



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:05 PM
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How are you going to ask this site for advice without giving details?



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:06 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


I am thinking if there is a way to go public ...at the meeting and not lose your job...perhaps bring in the (power of the media ) into this mix. Make sure there are people there from local TV and radio stations and newspapers. I am thinking if you choose to go public and the press is there and reports on all of it; you can accomplish your goals and still have a job.



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:08 PM
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Doing the right thing is not necessarily cost free but you should do it anyway. Search the web for "whislteblowers", there might be sites with advice onhow best to handle it.
edit on 2/2/13 by Cinrad because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:13 PM
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reply to post by Ghost375
 


The details are very boring unless you happen to be interested in education, brain development, and learning stages. I mean, I can tell you about these things if you really want to know. Or you can look in my post history, I've made some rants about a few of the situations. Like taking away recess on days the students have PE. It's stuff like that.

Let me clarify something which I should've mentioned earlier. There's nothing illegal happening here, just incompetence and stupidity.



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:13 PM
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Take the letter, and have first the teachers all sign it, and next any PTA members who may wish to as well.

Cant fire you all, and if enough parents sign on as well it brings the issue more attention.



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:16 PM
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Send it anonymously, administration has to abide by things to get funding. Kids have been left behind and education has taken a backseat, due to bureaucracy of things like no child left behind. The schools have to meet the bureaucratic red tape to get funding; so that's all school boards and administrations are really focusing on, meeting the bottom standard requirements.

It's like prison standards; what are the minimum requirements needed that keep funding flowing into the prison? That's all they'll typically focus on meeting; the prisoners are not important, they will over fill the cells just like over filling class rooms...I am sure you can see the analogies that can flow between the two.

If that were not the case in schools; then why is there such an emphasis on the horse and pony shows, when the people deciding the funding are walking through the schools? The kids have taken a back seat; so in best interest of the kids, as stated no reason to martyr yourself...when unfortunately; nothing is likely to change from it.



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:20 PM
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Just to add I wouldn't go the ANON route, seems to me the quickest way to get the letter tossed in the trash and ignored to me.



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by BigBrotherDarkness
Send it anonymously, administration has to abide by things to get funding. Kids have been left behind and education has taken a backseat, due to bureaucracy of things like no child left behind. The schools have to meet the bureaucratic red tape to get funding; so that's all school boards and administrations are really focusing on, meeting the bottom standard requirements.

It's like prison standards; what are the minimum requirements needed that keep funding flowing into the prison? That's all they'll typically focus on meeting; the prisoners are not important, they will over fill the cells just like over filling class rooms...I am sure you can see the analogies that can flow between the two.

If that were not the case in schools; then why is there such an emphasis on the horse and pony shows, when the people deciding the funding are walking through the schools? The kids have taken a back seat; so in best interest of the kids, as stated no reason to martyr yourself...when unfortunately; nothing is likely to change from it.


Your post saddens me.

I guess I'm an idealist. I want to believe I can make a difference. It's why I became a teacher. But these past couple of years, seeing the level of incompetence....it's like facing an uphill battle.

I'm exhausted from it, and I'm only 37. And as much as I love teaching children, there are days when I want to throw my hands up and walk away from it all.

But isn't the only way for things to improve is to make them improve? If I sit back and do nothing, am I not complacent in what occurs? Or am I deluding myself that I can have an impact at all?



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:22 PM
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Originally posted by benrl
Just to add I wouldn't go the ANON route, seems to me the quickest way to get the letter tossed in the trash and ignored to me.


My biggest concern with the anon route.



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:22 PM
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Originally posted by benrl
Take the letter, and have first the teachers all sign it, and next any PTA members who may wish to as well.

Cant fire you all, and if enough parents sign on as well it brings the issue more attention.


2nd vote for this tactic. And perhaps ask local media to be present, or copy the information to them as much as you can without libel issues kicking in.



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:23 PM
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Originally posted by benrl
Just to add I wouldn't go the ANON route, seems to me the quickest way to get the letter tossed in the trash and ignored to me.


She could email it to everyone on the staff prior to the meeting...


She would have to create a new account, but that would seem the least of her issues.





posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:28 PM
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In these situations, I've seen the messenger made to look unstable and uncooperative. Send the letter anonymously.

Administration has more influence and interaction to the Board than you do. One letter with your name attached will not change anything. Yes, you have a point and are frustrated, but your union should advise on how to collectively strike in masses on this issue(s). You can not do this alone successfully.

Do not send the letter with your name. Do it anonymously and make sure you keep quite about sending it.



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:39 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Extraordinary problems take extraordinary solutions, to me the Anonymous route is the least likely to accomplish change.

Do what you feel comfortable doing, by putting yourself out there, and rallying your coworkers behind you under the banner of doing what is best for the children you can in act change.


Do what you feel is Right.






Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world NO You move.

-Captain America



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:39 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Well, go the anonymous route first; if you hear nothing from it, you can make a note of it...that they were alerted and did nothing...it will show more evidence that they are complacent. Then you can escalate it by going to the non anonymous route; if they still ignore it then all routes have not been exhausted...because then you can go to the press. Exhaust the logical routes and build the case that no one seems to give a darn it...once those routes are exhausted; it's press time. Instead of getting thrown under the bus and losing your job; you can become a champion for the cause.

So either trudge along knowing it will likely never change; or build evidence that educating children has taken a back seat...when it is intended to be in the fore front. Have courage to do what you know needs to be done; if it doesn't pan out, I am sure your degree in education can be used in another sector...I've known math teachers give it up to become accountants etc. it's understandable to want to keep job security; in times like these though. So, you and your family should come first, in all honesty.



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:41 PM
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The odds are very high, unless something illegal has been occurring, the state is well aware of the situation in general. Sacrificing your career for more inaction is not a good idea. If you must send the letter, do it anonymously.

I'd also recommend talking with your local education reporter -- provide them with the letter and explain the situation. Let them know the letter has been sent, let them know about the meeting. Ask them to attend and have them bring up a question about the letter at the appropriate time. Assuming they believe there is a story. If they don't think there is a story, your odds of success are limited regardless of how you approach the situation.



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:46 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


I have worked in Govt related organizations. Sending it in the manner you suggest will do nothing. The local and state authorities will simply bury it. It is in the nature of all bureaucracies to bury all adverse criticisms. It is part of the survival drive of all large organizations.

If you put yourself in the spotlight, ALL YOU WILL DO is flame and burn brightly with no results except to deny your students a bloody good teacher. The bureaucracies will ensure that you never work as a teacher again.

The only solution that will work is to bring it to the attention of the wider community via the media. Keep your name out of it! Contact a reporter for a small newspaper or local TV station. Give them all the information you have, making sure that your name is not on any documents and making sure that you cannot be identified by the documents you provide.

You will be surprised at how little real documentation is required for the media to take up a story.

Please don't flame and burn, it will do nothing and change nothing except to provide the school administration with the idea that they are unassailable.

P



posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 06:52 PM
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This is the type of decision that needs to be made from time to time. You livelihood is at stake, but something that you believe is wrong is taking place.

Do you risk your own skin, and allow the wrong to continue? or do you do what you know needs to be done, and will it even matter?

Bottom line is, is the outcome worth the risk? If you lost your job over this, but the school reforms itself and all the issues you brought to the attention of the board are addressed and resolved, will it be worth it?

If you say yes, I say do it the quickest way possible, if it is going to board this thursday, with all the evidence to back it, then take it to them, you're job would be the sacrifice, but if the kids education is the reward, then I think a move like this would look good on a resume as you continue to advance your career, and if you have the staff to back you up, then the chance of termination may be a little smaller in the end anyway.

I don't pretend to know your situation, or the tough decision you need to make, but if I can help you decide by looking at likely outcome and perceived risks, then hopefully the decision is a little easier to make, good luck





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